I was away during week 3 off Battle which was missing two major players, as both Ron Maclean and Jeremy Roenick couldn't make the live telecast. Maclean was in Winnipeg, covering the Winnipeg Jets season opener, meaning Kurt Browning had to host the program alone. As for Roenick, he ran into some travel issues. In his place was former World Champion figure skater Paul Martini, who was disappointingly civil. I wouldn't miss either one because Maclean is such a ham and Roenick is so inappropriate that it sometimes uncomfortable to watch him. The show was extremely bland. Guest judge Mark Napier, the president of the NHL alumni association, certainly didn't help. The theme was "The beat," which Browning informed us meant rhythm and footwork. All the teams were given music with a very definitive beat, and they would be expected to stay in time with it. Tessa ditched the track pants for a pair of mini-shorts. I thought both Violetta & Cale and Elena & Curtis were disappointing. Surprisingly neither had to skate off on Monday. Surprisingly it was Kim & Russ and Boyd & Tanith who had to skate off and Kim and Russ got the boot. Last week, the show said goodbye to Marcy and Todd, the couple with the most personality. On week 3 they ditch the couple whose story is far and away the most inspirational.
On to week 4. My wife is torturing me with this show. This week's lame theme is the Canadian songbook. Oh boy some Avril Lavigne. Jeremy Roenick was a no show again. He was replaced this week by figure skating great Brian Orser, and the guest judge was former NHLer Bryan Trottier.
Marie-France Dubreuil & Bryan Berard
Marie-France and Bryan opened the evening by dancing to "Sk8er Boi" by Avril Lavigne. Yuck. Bryan didn't quite look as awkward as the past few weeks. Sandra loved every minute of it. "This couldn't have been more perfect." She gave them an absurd 5.8. Brian Orser was so annoyed shocked that he handed them the lowest score of the night - 5.5. Total score: 16.9.
Violetta Afanasieva & Cale Hulse
Last week, Violetta and Cale closed their performance by executing a throw in which Violetta flipped backwards over Cale's head. It seems she bruised her heel coming and so they decided to milk this as much as they could to show how tough she was to skate through all this pain this week. I quite like watching Violetta though because she is so acrobatic. Sandra gushed again, handing out another 5.8. Total score: 17.2.
Tessa Bonhomme & David Pelletier
Tessa broke down this week anc cam out in a figure skating dress although but this week, she finally said yes to the dress, and she said she dreaded exposing her bottom when being held upside-down. "The only thing I'm worried about is my dress coming up to my face, and me just hanging out in my underwears," she said. Tessa looked about as uncomfortable in the dress. Sandra patronized her by saying the chemistry was "coming." Total score: 17.1.
Elena Berezhnaya & Curtis Leschyshyn
They delivered another boring performance. Always ready for a lame line Ron Maclean jumped in with "He's hoisted the Stanley Cup and now Elena. You made it, Curtis." Yep, totally made it. You haven't reached the top of the mountain until you've hoisted Elena Berezhnaya.
The couple did execute the first throw of the competition. If you really care what the judges say at this point, Sandra claimed the footwork was really good. If you say so. Total score: 17.1.
Annabelle Langlois & Brad May
Oh boy they danced to "Come Fly With Me" by Michael Buble. With all the bad skating Sandra decides this is the one pair she was going to pick on (last week it was Tessa and David). "You've really focused on your lifts but you still need to work on the in-between part." As was the case last week it produced a chorus of boos. Total score: 16.9.
Tanith Belbin & Boyd Devereaux
The pair closed the evening by skating to the Canadian one-hit wonder "Black Velvet" by Alannah Myles. By this point I was so bored I almost fell asleep. Even my wife noted that this season was pretty bland. I'm probably the last straight male in Canada still watching. Total score: 17.0.
On Moday the painful skate off show was a drag with Ron Maclean hamming up for almost 10 minutes before he finally revealed that Annabelle & Brad and Cale & Violetta would be skating again. Then, Annabelle and Brad were eliminated by the judges, who immediately reversed their own decision by using the judges' save, officially negating an entire week of competition. Yes there are still 6 pairs left but mercifully there is no judge reversal available. Unless they decide to change the rules as they go.